Friday, March 27, 2009

Halloween

This isn't really a review per se, but out of all the big horror franchises, I think Halloween is the weakest one. I know I'm not alone in my opinion, but there are some fans who just go completely bananas over these movies. Don't get me wrong, the first Halloween is a total classic and a great archetypal slasher, but the sequels? Give me a break. Crucify me, but in my twisted little horror movie world I envision the Halloween films as the retarded cousin in an otherwise "normal" family of goofy slasher franchises.

As a film, the first Halloween is a landmark. So many things that are now stereotypes of the slasher genre were either borrowed from earlier films like Black Christmas, or legitimately invented here; you know, back when John Carpenter still had a soul.

The sequels on the other hand are totally bland. Halloween II had it's charm, picking up directly where the original left off, but it's still pretty boring (despite having that really cute short blonde haired nurse), and doesn't have any of the drive of the original film. The aspects of plot that were introduced in this film are iconic of the franchise, but I think they ruined it. Michael Myers became a hell of a lot less scary when he started to have even slightest semblance of motive.

Now Halloween III: Season of the Witch is pretty cool. To start with, it has Tom Atkins, who as we all know is friggin' awesome. Along with that, the storyline is pretty damn interesting and bizarre and makes for a relatively entertaining film, with the final few minutes giving some obvious nods to the original classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The absence of Michael Myers was obviously the reason for it's failure, but I think it works. It's no masterpiece, but I enjoy watching it once in a while.

Now every other movie in this franchise completely sucks in my opinion. Starting with part 4, I get the obvious impression they were trying to turn this into a franchise to rival the likes of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm St. The stories are boring, the characters are annoying, and the movies just aren't scary, but it's obvious they really are trying to be. For me, the appeal of Friday the 13th is that the movies aren't scary (with the exception of some creepy moments here and there). Though they are trying to be scary, they fail miserably but in the most glorious way possible. The characters, particularly in the first four movies have real color and are fun to watch get murdered, especially with the glorious death scenes the franchise used to provide. From the get go, Halloween was too psychological and moody to try and be a slasher franchise and it just doesn't work for me. Admittedly, part 4 is the most watchable of the sequels (other than part 3), but nearly unwatchable compared to pretty much every Jason and Freddy flick.

I'd rather watch Friday the 13th part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan than most any Halloween besides the original anyday. You feel what I'm sayin? This may sound like complete Jason fanboy nonsense, but I know many people who share this opinion so I know I'm not alone. I guess I just don't understand the love Halloween fans have for the franchise when I see so many boring inconsistent films. Seriously, Parts 5 and 6 are awful. Then again, those fans are really die hard and probably don't get why my boy Jason is so much more popular. Maybe they like it that way, loving the underdog of the slasher franchises; maybe it makes them feel more connected to it. That's saying something I suppose. But seriously, does anyone REALLY think H20 or especially Halloween: Resurrection are good films? I mean even in a charmingly stupid slasher way...

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21st century rocker with a multi-track mind.

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